Opportunity Nocks for valley groups

Julie Nockappointed to revitalise theEttrick and Yarrow Valleys by the Southern Uplands Partnership
Julie Nockappointed to revitalise theEttrick and Yarrow Valleys by the Southern Uplands Partnership

THERE is £10,000 worth of grants up for grabs in Ettrick and Yarrow Valleys.

The money is part of the Leader-funded £60,000 regeneration programme for the area.

Project officer Julie Nock said: “The £10,000 is for anything that promotes the valleys or helps the valleys’ community, or leaves a lasting legacy in the valleys, or even for a piece of equipment, say for the playgroup or if somebody wants to put on an event.

“We are open to any and all suggestions.”

Meanwhile, some 25 artists and crafters in the community met earlier this week to discuss how to help themselves, resulting in ideas of tours of workshops and staging exhibitions in village halls.

“The valleys have a wide range of artists and craftspeople producing an amazing variety of work. It was a very successful meeting,” said Ms Nock.

Other regeneration project successes include valleys tourism businesses setting up a not-for-profit promotion group.

“The valleys have stunning scenery, a wealth of native wildlife and some amazing walking and cycling routes, so we should be overrun with tourists staying in one of our 660 bed spaces (in hotels, cottages, camping, caravan and other local accommodation), “ said Ms Nock.

“The tourism group aims to promote the valleys to locals and tourists through a range of printed and web campaigns. They are getting themselves organised to put their stamp on this part of the world and that’s a fantastic result,” she said.

Anyone interested in joining should contact her.

In a newsletter to valley residents last week, Ms Nock reports the valleys heating oil co-op now has 25 members saving between two and five pence per litre on every oil delivery.

She writes: “The co-op is free to join. Discounts are based on the amount of oil being purchased overall so if you buy heating oil why not join as the more members the group has the bigger the discounts will be for everyone.”

The Valleys Facebook page now has 150 friends and is being used to post community information about events, meetings and services, she said. The Yarrow Valley bus service has had a slow start, which Ms Nock puts down to people being unable to get a timetable.

“I have arranged for weatherproof timetables to be placed along the bus route – these should go up within the next month – and will deliver printed timetables to the village halls, cafes and hotels once received,” she said.

Ms Nock also alerted residents to free business training, from bookkeeping to building a website, from Business Gateway, noting most courses are held in Selkirk.

And she said anyone wishing to set up a social enterprise in the valleys could undertake a free one- or two-day course at the Social Enterprise Academy.

For further information or to join any of the new groups contact Ms Nock at Julie@sup.org.uk or 01750 23760.